Maggie Rae Lunam


John Muir


To John Muir from Maggie Rae Lunam [Sept 1895] Gilderoy Gilderoy was a bonnie boy Had roses till his shoon His stockings were of silken soy WiΓÇÖ garters handing doon. It was I ween a comely sight To see so trim a boy. He was my joy and heartΓÇÖs delight My winsome Gilderoy. O sic two charming eΓÇÖen he had A breath as sweet as roses; He never ware a Highland plaid But costly silken clothes. He gained the love of ladies gay. None eΓÇÖer to him was coy. Ah wae is me I mourn this day For my dear Gilderoy. My Gilderoy and I were born Baith in one town together; We scant were seven years before We ΓÇÿgan to love each ither. Our daddies and our mammies They were filled with meikle joy To think upon the bridal day Of me and Gilderoy For Gilderoy that love of mine Gude faith I freely brought A wedding sark of Holland fine WeΓÇÖ dainty ruffles wrought. And he gied me a wedding ring Which I received with joy Nae lad nor lassie eΓÇÖer could sing Like me and Gilderoy. WiΓÇÖ meikle joy we spent our prime Till we were baith sixteen, And aft we past the longsome time Among the leaves sae green, Aft on the banks weΓÇÖd sit us there And sweetly kiss and toy While he wiΓÇÖ garlands decked my hair My handsome Gilderoy. O that he still had been content WeΓÇÖ me to lead his life But oh his manfuΓÇÖ heart was bent To stir in feats of strife And he in many a venturous deed His courage bold wad try And now this gars my heart to bleed For my dear Gilderoy.

And when of me his leave he tooke The tears then wat mine ee. I gied him sic a parting looke My benison gang wiΓÇÖ thee Good speed thee weel mine ain dear heart For gane is all my joy My heart is rent sith we maun part My handsome Gilderoy. The Queen of Scots possessed nought That my love let me want For cow and eye he to me brought And eΓÇÖen when they were scant All these did honestly possess He never did annoy Who never failed to pay their cess To my love Gilderoy. My Gilderoy baith far and near Was feared in every town And bauldly bare awayΓÇÖ the gear Of many a lowland loon For man to man durst meet him nane He was so brave a boy At length with numbers he was taen My winsome Gilderoy. Wae worth the loons that made the laws To hang a man for gear To reive of life for sic a cause As stealing horse or mear Had not these laws been made sae strict, I neΓÇÖer had lost my joy, WeΓÇÖ sorrow neΓÇÖer had wat my cheecke, For my dear Gilderoy. If Gilderoy had done amiss He might have banished been. Ah what sair cruelty is this To Hang sic handsome men To hang the flower oΓÇÖ Scottish land Sae sweet and fair a boy. Nae lady had sae white a hand As thee my Gilderoy. Of Gilderoy saa ΓÇÿfraid they were They bound him meikle strong; To Edinburgh they took him there And on a gallows hung. They hung him high aboon the rest, He was sae trim a boy. There died the youth whom I loved best, My handsome Gilderoy. Sune as he yielded up his breath I bore his corpse away WiΓÇÖ tears that trickled for his death; I washed his comely clay And sicker in a grave sae deep I laid the dear loved boy And now forever I maun weep My winsome Gilderoy.

GILDEROY Published by Percy in the Reliques (I,884) as ΓÇ£from a written copy, that seems to have received some modern corrections.ΓÇ¥ He states that there is a copy in ThompsonΓÇÖs Orpheus Caledonius (1788), ΓÇ£which though corrupt and interpolated, contains some lines that appear to be of genuine antiquity; in these he [Gilderoy] is represented as contemporary with Mary Queen of Scots.ΓÇ¥ In the edition of PercyΓÇÖs Reliques, edited by R. A. Willmott (1857), the introduction to this song is as follows: ΓÇ£Gilderoy, the Robin Hood of Scottish minstrelsy, was a noted robber who infested the Highland of Perthshire with his gang, of whom seven, being captured by the Stewarts of Athel, were executed, February, 1688. In revenge, Gilderoy burned several houses belonging to the Stewarts; but the offer of a large reward (L1000) for his apprehension caused him to be pursued from place to place; and at length, with five of his companions, he suffered for his crimes at Gallowslee, between Leith and Edinburgh, July, 1688.ΓÇ¥ Note from Old English Ballads and Folk Songs by William Dallam Armes Macmillan, 1904. Also text of first three stanzas, as follows: Gilderoy was a bonnie boy Had roses tull his shoon His stockings were of silken soy WiΓÇÖ garters hanging doun. It was, I ween, a comely sight To see so trim a boy. He was my jo and heartΓÇÖs delight My handsome Gilderoy. O sike twa charming een he had A breath as sweet as rose; He never ware a Highland plaid But costly silken clothes. He gained the luve of ladies gay. Nane eΓÇÖer tull him was coy. Ah! wae is me! I mourn the day For my dear Gilderoy. My Gilderoy and I were born Baith in one toun together; We scant were seven years, before We ΓÇÿgan to luve each other; Our daddies and our mammies, they Were filled wiΓÇÖ mickle joy To think upon the bridal day, ΓÇÿTwixt me and Gilderoy.


[place unknown]


Original letter dimensions: 21 x 27 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

MSS 048 John Muir Papers

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University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


3 pages



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